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28 February 2020

Main results - Competitiveness Council

EU Green Deal: ministers held a debate on the transition to a climate neutral and circular EU. They also discussed the Single Market Performance Report 2019 and adopted conclusions on better regulation.

Research and innovation, 28 February

Strategic Innovation Agenda of the EIT

The Council adopted a partial general approach on the Annex to the Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The Annex to SIA sets out the priority fields and strategy of the EIT for the period 2021-2027. It defines the EIT's objectives, key actions, mode of operation, expected results and resources needed. It also ensures the necessary coherence of the EIT with Horizon Europe, the future EU framework programme for research and innovation for the period 2021-2027 and is expected to foster synergies with other EU programmes.

EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda: political agreement in the Council 

Strategic approach to international cooperation in research and innovation

On the basis of a presidency note, ministers exchanged views on the EU strategy regarding international cooperation in research and innovation.

In this context, ministers acknowledged the importance of international cooperation for maximising the potential of research and innovation within the EU. At the same time, several ministers stressed the need for cooperation agreements to meet the conditions of reciprocity, added value and respect of EU values. There was broad support for a differentiated approach, which rewards those countries wishing to collaborate in areas of mutual strategic interest.

Internal market and industry, 27 February

European Green Deal - transition to a climate-neutral and circular EU industry

On the basis of a presidency note, ministers exchanged views on the most appropriate policies needed to :

  • support the industry's contribution to the attainment of the climate neutrality objective in 2050,
  • reduce the risk of carbon leakage and
  • facilitate and accelerate the transition to a circular economy through digitalisation.

The European Green Deal was proposed by the Commission in December 2019 as the new EU growth strategy. It aims to transform the EU into a sustainable and climate-neutral economy by 2050. It puts forward a number of measures and policies aimed at rendering the transition just and inclusive, boosting the competitiveness of the EU economy, improving people's health and quality of life and protecting the environment. The European Council endorsed in December 2019 the objective of a climate-neutral EU by 2050.

Conclusions on better regulation "Ensuring competitiveness and sustainable, inclusive growth"

The Council adopted a set of conclusions in the context of its better regulation agenda. These conclusions touch upon the quality of impact assessments, the need for policymakers to take into account the particular interests of small and medium-size enterprises, starts-ups and micro enterprises, as well as to improve methods of checking whether existing EU laws remain fit-for-purpose. Better regulation plays an important role in achieving a competitive, sustainable and inclusive EU economy. It ensures evidence-based decision making and policies that are fit-for-purpose.


Council conclusions "Ensuring competitiveness and sustainable, inclusive growth"

European Semester - Single Market Performance report

On the basis of a presidency note, the Council had an exchange of views on the findings of the Single Market Performance report drawn up by the Commission.

Ministers broadly agreed on the need for a holistic approach regarding the integration of the single market, while at the same time focusing on specific areas with untapped potential, such as services. Better implementation and enforcement of single market rules, as well as further standardisation, harmonisation and mutual recognition remain the main instruments for maximising the benefits of the single market.

The 2019 Single Market Performance Report assesses the economic performance of the EU's Single Market and highlights the areas in which member states need to undertake structural reforms in order to optimise this performance. It covers goods, services, energy, digitalisation, public procurement and integration of capital markets. It accompanies the Commission's Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2020, which sets policy priorities focused on competitive sustainability and mark the starting point of the 2020 European Semester. [...]

Full press release


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